Player of the Game
Scott Kazmir was strike out happy again today, whiffing 11 Twins in six innings. Overall, he was effective, allowing just six hits, all of which were singles. He allowed just one run during the game, allowing the Indians to cruise to victory. Prior to September, Kazmir had struck out ten batters in a game just once, but has done so three times this month, including a season high 12 on the sixth.
Scoreboard Watch: Tampa Bay was destroyed by the Blue Jays today, completely flipping around the Wild Card standings. The two game losing streak is what the Indians have been waiting for during the past week and was enough to allow the Indians to move into sole possession of the first Wild Card spot. Now, if the Indians win tomorrow, the Wild Card game will take place in Cleveland, something that seemed improbable two weeks ago.
Cole De Vries looked unhittable in the first four innings, striking out seven of his first eleven batters faced until Jason Kipnis finally came through with a two out single. Just like they have all season, the Indians then came through with two outs when Carlos Santana smashed a monster two run home run that landed on the concourse past the seats in right field.
Michael Bourn added his own two out magic in the next inning, scoring Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes on a triple to right. Bourn didn't start in the previous three games due to a right wrist injury, but looked healthy, at least on that swing.
The Indians ninth win in a row guarantees at least a one game play-off to get into the one game play-off to get into the play-offs if they lose tomorrow. If they win, they will have home field advantage against the second Wild Card winner. That winner will be whichever of the Rays or Rangers wins tomorrow, unless both win or lose, in which case they will play a one game play-off for the right to come to Cleveland on October second. It's all very simple really.
A two and a half hour rain delay pushed the start time almost back to where it was originally scheduled. If they had just left things alone and not moved the game to Fox, it would have started on time and been announced by the All-Star crew of Rick Manning and Matt Underwood.
Scoreboard Watch: The Rangers weren't afraid of the rain as they played through the bad weather and won before the Indians game even started. With the win, Texas staved off elimination for one more day and pulled into a tie with Tampa. This brings a new, likely situation that would really help out the Indians World Series dreams if those two teams had to play a play-off game against each other for the right to go to Cleveland and play the Indians in the Wild Card game.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Minnesota Twins 1